Elder and Mrs. Robert L. Brown founded Grace Temple Church of God in Christ, Inc. in January of 1972.
Under the direction of the Holy Spirit a former United Auto Workers (U.A.W.) Union Hall was chosen as the site for the new church and renovations began. Upon request of Elder Brown, the Albion City Council granted the name change of Sheridan Street to Grace Street. Grace Temple was well on its way. Listed below is the timeline of events and happenings at Grace Temple over the years
- January 9, 1972, Grace Temple’s doors opened and Superintendent James S. Lee and Bishop John S. Bailey conducted the open house service.
- Grace Temple supported missions in Haiti where they built a church and school, which were completely financed by the Grace Temple congregation. In addition, they paid the teacher’s salaries at several other schools, along with helping work in Liberia.
- March 1972, a few months after the church opened, God sent Minister and Mrs. Adrian Gray to
Grace Temple. They united with the church, and Minister Gray served as Assistant Pastor for five years.
- August 1972, groundbreaking for fellowship hall, Sunday school classrooms, baptistery, choir room, and a kitchen.
- January 1973, new facilities utilized, Bishop Bailey gave dedication.
- The new addition made room for the other activities and aided in the steady development of the church. With the word being exhorted hearts were won for Christ, until Grace Temple could no longer accommodate the capacity of the people who attended. This necessitated the erection of a new sanctuary which seats over 600 persons, a narthex, pastors office, church office, additional class-rooms and restrooms. The former sanctuary then became the chapel and is used to hold small meetings and to address an overflow from the main edifice.
- September 6, 1974, ground broken for expansion project.
- 1975, Easter Sunday, the first service was held with over 600 persons present.
- October 1977, growth was seen throughout the church in other areas as well. In the ministerial staff, Elder Carlos Washington was appointed Platform Chairman.
- In the music department, which has played a vital role in Grace Temple since the beginning, all choirs were organized under the direction of Mrs. Willa Pierson, Minister of Music, and Mrs. Ruth Google, Assistant Director. The children’s choir was organized first, and they sang on Easter Sunday 1972. The Temple Choir was soon formed and consisted of adults who contributed to more sharing in the service. Shortly after, the Young People’s Choir was started. Later there became a need to expand the music ministry and the Men’s Choir evolved, appearing first in February of 1977. Next the Intermediate Choir was established for young people age eleven through fourteen, and they first sang in March of 1977. An out-reach for the church was the Goodwill Singers Choir of Albion who served musically in the community and throughout the state of Michigan. They were founded by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pierson. The group was dedicated to singing sacred music only and Grace Temple became their church home.
- 1974, in order to reach out further beyond the church boundaries a tape ministry was established. This made it possible to reach the sick and shut-in who otherwise would not reap the benefit of live services. This ministry was under the direction of Mrs. Ruth Google.
- May of 1977, a radio outreach ministry began over the local radio station. This broadcast ministry was de-signed to further reach and share our great hope and certainty that Jesus will return!
- September 24, 978, the cornerstone laying was held and Bishop Bailey presided.
- December 1978, the church purchased the property north of our sanctuary, which included a house. This building has since been renovated and is currently in use as our Outreach Center and houses the church office.
- September 3, 1980, school opened, in providing for the total man that involves many areas and one area is education. Through the direction of the Holy Spirit, Elder and Mother Brown organized the Grace Temple Christian School with Brother Stephen Williams and Sister Gwendolyn Google accepting positions as Principal and Assistant Principal respectively. The Christian School operated from September 1980 to June 1989.
- 1982, outdoor platform constructed at the edge of the parking lot, and provisions were made for a public address system. This began the drive-in church services which were held each Sunday evening during the summer months.
- June 1984, the first commencement exercises of the Grace Temple Christian School were held. Grace Temple Christian School produced leaders of tomorrow.
- September 1984, Grace Temple held their mortgage burning service. God tremendously blessed the members to pay off a fifteen year mortgage in nine years.
- After the demise of Bishop John S. Bailey, Southwestern Michigan Jurisdiction was divided into four ecclesiastical jurisdictions. Grace Temple was chosen to follow the leadership of Bishop Earl J. Wright, the prelate of Southwestern Michigan, Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. Bishop Wright designated a district in this area known as the Albion District, and Pastor Brown was appointed Superintendent. Pastor Brown selected Missionary Ida Moss to serve with him as District Missionary. The Albion District consisted of the following churches: New Hope COGIC of Battle Creek, MI pastored by Elder Bobby Moore; Antioch COGIC of Detroit, MI under the leadership of Elder Havious Green; Hammond COGIC of Detroit, MI under the direction of Pastor Victor Thompson; and Love Temple COGIC of Lansing, MI with Pastor Ray Todd. In addition, Pastor Brown was appointed by Bishop Wright to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the jurisdiction.
- 1989, the Children’s Church Ministry was established. This was organized to provide the children with training and development in the areas of church protocol, prayer, devotion, story lessons, and the plan of salvation; spiritually preparing our youth of today for tomorrow.
- January 1999, as a new decade rolled in there were changes made in other areas. Elder Craig Brown was appointed the Assistant Pastor. Elder Craig was instrumental in the instruction of the New Members Class, as well as a variety of other areas in the ministry. Also, during the same year Elder Floyd Mitchell was selected as Platform Chairman of the ministerial staff.
- 1999, the after school tutoring and mentor program was organized by Derrick Crum. It involved providing local youth with instructional support. The students would meet on specified days at the Outreach Center. Various volunteers gave of their time to help make the program a success and to minister to the young people.
- 2001, Stephen Williams organized a character development community outreach ministry. The highlight of this program was to teach the importance of character development to our youth.
- 2004, the following years brought significant changes in leadership. Assistant Pastor Craig Brown passed away in December of 2004. He was remembered for his faithfulness in ministry. At the Lord’s leading Pastor Brown elevated Elder Stephen Williams to the role of Assistant Pastor the next year.
- 2005, Pastor Brown retired as the Superintendent of the Albion District, and Pastor Havious Green assumed leadership as superintendent. At the end of 2005 Mother Lillie B. Brown passed away. Her Christ-like love and kindness continues to be an example.
- 2006, as a shepherd providing for his sheep, Pastor Brown appointed Elder Williams as Co-Pastor based on Elder Williams committed life of holiness, humility, and prayer.
- January 2010, the Grace Temple Church and School in Haiti sustained extensive damage in a catastrophic earthquake. Grace Temple remained steadfast in its support of missions—sending a delegation to review the damage and pledging the funds necessary for reconstruction.
- 2011, according to God’s will, in the summer of 2011, Pastor Robert L. Brown passed away. His faithful service to God, church, and community bears witness to a life rooted in God’s word and empowered through God’s spirit. His years of conducting the church’s affairs decently and in order have ensured that Grace Temple will continue to be a viable and impactful ministry in the Albion community and throughout the world.
- 2011, Jurisdictional Bishop Earl J. Wright, Sr. installed Elder Stephen C. Williams as the new pastor of Grace Temple. The church continues to grow and mature under his leadership.